That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: For 2020 Predictions Los Atleticos My predictions for this upcoming 2020 season

file photo from sfchronicle.com: Oakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien fields a grounder by San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey, who was out at first during a baseball game in San Francisco. Semien will look to build momentum from a career season that included being top three in the AL MVP voting. He was rewarded with a new $13 million, one-year contract to avoid arbitration, a raise of $7.1 million

2020 Predictions: Los Atléticos

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

Amaury Pi-González

My predictions for this upcoming 2020 season.

(American League West)

1-Oakland Athletics 2-Houston Astros 3-Los Angeles Angels 4-Texas Rangers 5-Seattle Mariners

Oakland A’s  (Offense) This is the year everything will come together for the Athletics. For the second year in a row finished with an excellent 97-65 record and behind the Houston Astros. They will catch and pass the scandal-riddled Houston Astros.

A’s are a powerful offensive force with numbers that do the talking. Among all 30 teams,the A’s finished fifth in home runs with 257,number eight in runs scored 845 and number ninth in runs driven-in with 800.

The team of the greatest base stealer ever, and in my opinion the best all-around player in the history of the Oakland A’s,Rickey Henderson who stole 1,406 bases during a stellar Hall of Fame career,only stole 49 bases last season,which put them close to the bottom,only three teams in baseball stole less bases.

But nobody is perfect,that is not their game, only the Giants, Twins and Cubs stole less bases than the A’s. Unfortunately (if you are old school) at this time in history where 30 homers for a player is “normal” and many say boring,the stolen base is like the bunt,”Breaking News”when it happens.

(Pitching) Bob Melvin A’s had the sixth best earned run average for a pitching staff in baseball with 3.97. Only Astros, Dodgers, Rays, Indians and Cardinals showed a better ERA. Their 2020 staff is one of the youngest and most talented in the game. Sean Manaea, Jesús Luzardo, Frankie Montás, A,J Puk, Mike Fiers starting and leading the way.

(Bullpen) Liam Hendriks (25 saves and 1.80 ERA),who took over Blake Treinen as closer was robbed of the Reliever of the Year Award by New York Yankee closer Aroldis Chapman,but was one of the reasons the A’s got to the AL Wild Card game.

The only reason Hendriks did not win the award is because he pitches for the A’s and Chapman for the Yankees. The market was the deciding factor. However,the Astros had the top bullpen in the AL West and third best in baseball last year with ERA (3.75) and batting average against (.226). Roberto Osuna led the Astros with 38 saves,second in baseball only to San Diego’s Kirby Yates with 41.

(Defense) Los Atléticos finished tied with the Atlanta Braves as the fourth best defensive team in baseball,with a .987 fielding percentage. and committed total of 80 errors,only Cardinals,Royals, Houston and Braves committed less. It all starts with the Golden Corners; Matt Chapman and Matt Olson, both Gold Glove winners,plus a mostly improved Marcus Semien at shortstop,and very a talented outfield with Ramón Laureano in center field. Ramón’s arm is one of the best – nobody runs on him.

2020 A’s are very similar to 2019.The second base position still wide open, they acquired veteran Tony Kemp but also have A’s minor league star Jorge Mateo as well as Franklin Barreto who already have some major league experience with the club, as well as Sheldon Neuse and then there is Rule 5 pick Vimael Machín.They are all candidates at the second-base position that Jurickson Profar left vacant after he signed with the San Diego Padres.

Conclusion: It will be a battle for the division between the A’s and the Astros. Now under Dusty Baker,the Houston team still one of the best group of players in baseball,it should not be easy for the A’s, but they are ready for battle. It is of great importance that the A’s win the division,because they are starting to get the label that they cannot win a Wild Card game.

The LA Angels with the addition of one of the finest hitters and all around players in third-baseman Anthony Rendon, who will now be in a lineup with MikeTrout, Justin Upton,Shohei Othani and future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols hitting sixth or seventh,they will score tons of runs, but they are still short of pitching.Good luck to a great baseball guy,Joe Maddon, now back in Anaheim as manager.

Texas will be Texas,Joey Gallo might hit 50 home runs,so what? and the Seattle Mariners will continue to look up to the others in the division. Seattle a great city that once had stars such as Ken Griffey Jr. Edgar Martínez, Randy Johnson, Ichiro Susuki, Féliz Hernández, Jaime Moyer, Raúl Ibañez and others, but for this season they will be a sad again. Mariners remain the only team in the division never to win the pennant.

Atléticos First Homestand features two Divisional champions. A’s Open 2020 this Thursday March 26th at 1:07PM with the first of a four games against the Central Division champion Minnesota Twins followed by the Western Division champion Houston Astros for a three game series starting Monday. The Twins loaded with power set a new MLB record last season with 307 home runs and the Astros lead the regular season with 107 wins.

Coronavirus Note: WHO(World Health Organization)tips about this virus. 1-Wash hands frequently 2-Maintain social distances 3-Avoid touching,eyes, nose and mouth 4-If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the play by play announcer for the Oakland A’s Spanish radio broadcasts and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast: Sox sign Grandal four years $73 M; Betts is close to being a Dodger; plus more

photo from latimes.com: The Boston Red Sox Mookie Betts is on the bargaining table to be dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers

On That’s Amaury’s podcast:

#1 Amaury how important is Yasmani Grandal’s role at catcher going to be for the Chicago White Sox he’s on a four year $73 million contract with the Sox.

#2 How serious is are the Dodgers in acquiring the Boston Red Sox Mookie Betts and talk about how he would impact the team.

#3 The Seattle Mariners signed Marco Gonzalez, Gonzalez will be under contract with the Mariners for under $1 million for 2020-2024 but his contract is reportedly worth $30-45 million for four years.

#4 You had a chance to sit with Frankie Montas pitcher of the Oakland A’s during Fan Fest how far has Montas put his PED suspension in the review mirror.

#5 Former San Francisco Giant Gerardo Parra is a new Giant but this time in Tokyo Parra said he’s excited about playing in Japan

Join Amaury Pi Gonzalez for News and Commentary podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

A’s Don’t Help Themselves, Wild Card Race Tied After M’s 4-3 Walk-off Win

Photo credit: @Mariners

By Matthew Harrington

The Oakland A’s clinched a postseason berth Friday night, but it was hardly cause for celebration. By virtue of the Cleveland Indians losing earlier in the night, the A’s knew they’d be locked into a spot in the Wild Card game. The only question is where will that game be played?

The picture didn’t get clearer Friday. The A’s needed a win in Seattle to stay a game ahead of Tampa Bay for home field advantage in the do-or-die game, with the Rays winning earlier in the night. All signs were pointing up when Matt Olson hit a two-run homer in the seventh to give Oakland a 3-2 lead. But closer Liam Hendriks couldn’t hold on to the lead and the Mariners rallied to walk the A’s off 4-3 on a J.P. Crawford double. Now both Oakland and Tampa sit at 96 wins apiece.

Hendriks got a quick out before Mallex Smith singled. The A’s closer bounced back with a punchout of Dylan Moore, but Smith advanced to second and third base on wild pitches and scored easily on a Shed Long single to tie the game. Crawford then took a 3-2 pitch to left field on a line for the walk-off winner.

The A’s were trailing 2-1 heading into the top of the seventh after Seattle scored runs in the top of the first and third innings off Mike Fiers. Marcus Semien’s 33rd homer of the season in the leadoff spot was the lone as run off Justus Sheffield to that point. Matt Chapman singled off reliever Zac Grotz with one out in the seventh, then Taylor Guilbeau was called in to face Olson. Olson hammered a 3-2 count over the wall in left field to give the A’s the 3-2 lead. AJ Puk, Jake Diekman and Joakim Soria all pitched scoreless innings in relief of Fiers, who pitched five strong, but will most likely watch the Wild Card game from the dugout, thanks to the reemergence of Sean Manaea.

The Rays have yet to announce a starter for Saturday’s game against the Blue Jays, but Trent Thornton and his 5.00 ERA will await the Tampa hitters who will step up to the plate eagerly. For Oakland Brett Anderson takes the hill against Marco Gonzalez, who despite a 4.09 ERA has 16 wins to his credit.

A’s near a playoff berth after defeating the Mariners 3-1

Photo credit: @Athletics

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s downed the Seattle Mariners 3-1 on Thursday night at T-Mobile Park. Their magic number to clinch a playoff berth is down to one. Any combination of an A’s win or Cleveland loss will give the A’s a Wild Card berth. The Indians lost again to the Chicago White Sox and are now three games behind the A’s. The Tampa Bay Rays did not play. The A’s lead them by one game in the race for the first Wild Card. If the A’s hold on and win the first Wild Card, the one-game elimination will be played in Oakland next Wednesday.

It was a very emotional night in Seattle for their fans and for Felix Hernandez. Hernandez, who had been the ace of the Mariners’ staff for many years, was probably making his last appearance as a Mariner. His record coming into the game was 1-7. His effectiveness and velocity had been affected by shoulder injuries. Hernandez, in the past, had owned the A’s. The Green and Gold feared facing him. However, times changed, and he was just another pitcher. Hernandez had other thoughts on Thursday night as he wanted to go out as a winner.

Fernandez pitched very well for Seattle. He went 5 1/3 innings and allowed five hits and three runs. When he left in the top of the sixth, the Mariners fans gave him a standing ovation that lasted well over a minute and Fernandez, with tears in his eyes, made a final curtain call.

The offensive player of the game for Oakland was Matt Chapman. With one out in the first inning, Chapman walked. A’s first baseman Matt Olson singled to right. Chapman went to third on the play, and when he saw the throw from the right fielder was slow coming into the infield, Chappie took off and rounded third and score. The A’s had an early 1-0 lead.

In the top of the second, Marcus Semien worked Hernandez for a walk. The next hitter, Matt Chapman, as he did Wednesday night in Los Angeles, blasted his 36th home run of the year to make it 3-0.

The A’s Sean Manaea, making his fifth start of the year, was very effective. He gave up a run to the M’s in the bottom of the fifth. A’s manager Bob Melvin let Manaea go one more inning. Sean went six innings and allowed four hits and one run. Lefty Jesus Luzardo pitched the seventh and eighth and retired all six hitters he faced. Liam Hendriks retired the Mariners in order in the ninth to secure the win for Oakland and earn his 25th save of the year. The A’s won 3-1.

Game Notes: The A’s improved to 96-63 with three games left on the schedule. The Tampa Bay Rays have three games left with the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto. The Indians will finish the season in Washington with three games against the Nationals.

The A’s won 97 games last year, and if they sweep the Mariners, they will finish with 99 wins.

The Houston Astros appear to have the best record in the American League. They will play the winner of the AL Wild Card game. The Minnesota Twins will face the New York Yankees in the other ALDS. The Twins have become the first time in MLB history to hit more than 300  homers in a season. They have hit 301 so far this year. The Yankees need one more to be the second team. They have hit 299.

Up Next: The A’s will send Mike Fiers to the hill Friday night. Fiers is 15-4 for the year, and his ERA is 3.91. Lefty Justus Sheffield will go for Seattle. Game time will be at 7:05 pm PT.

Oakland A’s podcast with Jerry Feitelberg: Chapman saves the A’s bacon with 2-run bomb; A’s stay 1/2 game up in wild card

Photo credit: halosheaven.com

On the A’s podcast with Jerry Feitelberg:

#1 The A’s dropped two crucial games — one against Texas last Sunday at the Coliseum and another on Tuesday night in Anaheim. The A’s in never give up style, down 2-1 on Wednesday night in the top of the ninth, got a two-run jack from Matt Chapman his 34th to get the A’s a 3-2 one-run win.

#2 You look at that score last night in Anaheim 2-1 going to the ninth, manager Bob Melvin just had to have that bad feel in his stomach that the club was going to go down three in a row, but these never give up A’s have a hero every night when they win a game.

#3 Talk about A’s starter Frankie Montas’ return back in the rotation. He misses 60 games and he comes back pitches six innings and gives up four hits and an earned run, two walks and six strikeouts.

#4 Jerry talk about the relievers the A’s used four relief pitchers and they held it together to beat the Angels in the Big A. Everybody is up to beat the A’s in the wild card drive and the A’s are doing everything to stay at the top.

#5 A’s are headed for Seattle to open up a four-game series with the Mariners on Thursday, who can be tough customers in their own right. The Mariners, who got two hits and shutout 3-0 on Wednesday night by the Houston Astros, are not too happy and are looking to take things out on the A’s, but the A’s will scratch and claw to try to keep their heads above water in the AL wild card race.

Jerry does the A’s podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com each Thursday

MLB The Show podcast with Daniel Dullum: A’s can sweep Twins today in Minneapolis; Will Giants take a dive if they part with Bum and Smith?

photo from sfgate.com: Oakland Athletics’ Mark Canha, left, and Marcus Semien celebrate Canha’s two-run home run off Minnesota Twins pitcher Zack Littell in the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 20, 2019, in Minneapolis. The Athletics won 5-4.

And here they are, from the home office in Gardner, ND Daniel Dullum’s MLB The Show podcast for Sunday:

MLB

1 A’s-Twins in key AL series

2 Should Giants be sellers at the deadline?

3 Mariners’ Mike Leake nearly throws perfecto; Angels DFA former All-Star pitcher Matt Harvey

4 RIP Pumpsie Green, Don Mossi, Jim Bouton

Catch Daniel each Sunday for the MLB podcast at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

MLB podcast with Matt Harrington: After a rough week, Seattle routs Angels and nearly get a perfect game; plus more

photo from bleacherreport.com: Seattle Mariners pitcher Mike Leake nearly throws a perfect game against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday at T-Mobile Park in Seattle in a 10-0 laugher.

On the MLB podcast with Matt:

#1 Coming off a two-game series sweep to the Oakland A’s on Tuesday and Wednesday the Seattle Mariners on Friday night almost got a perfect game against the Los Angeles Angels when Mariners starter Mike Leake went into the ninth inning needing three outs to accomplish the feat but surrendered a base hit to the Angels  Luis Rengifo at T-Mobile Park in the ninth inning in Seattle. The fans stood up and honored Leake with a nice ovation. The M’s went on to beat the Halos 10-0.

#2 The San Francisco Giants once again got another walkoff win against the visiting New York Mets. The Giants on Thursday night went 16 innings to beat the Mets 3-2, and then on Friday, got a 1-0 win in the bottom of the tenth at Oracle Park in San Francisco when Dominic Smith, a Mets centerfielder, dropped a fly ball hit by Pablo Sandoval that allowed Alex Dickerson to score from first base for the game-winning run and the Giants wound up with their seventh consecutive win and are now a .500 team for the first time all season.

#3 The New York Yankees’ Edwin Encarnacion hit a grand slam helped beat the Colorado Rockies 8-2 in over 100 degree heat and Aaron Judge hit a two-run homer for New York. The Yankees now improve the lead over second place Tampa Bay by nine games.

#4 New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone said on Friday enough was enough in the first game of the doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays when three Yankees hitters Gary Sanchez, DJ Le Mahieu and Brett Gardner were called out for strikes by plate umpire Brennan Miller. Boone got into the face of Miller and said a few choice words and was run by Miller. Boone was immediately suspended by MLB for what they said making contact with the umpire. Boone said he regretted using the choice words and said that Miller had a hard job to do and and that he showed more class than him. Boone sat out the night cap of the doubleheader.

#5 He threw a masterpiece, but like all pitchers who showcase all good things with a current team, all good things must come to an end and it is most likely that Toronto Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman will be dealt somewhere before the trade deadline July 31st. Stroman going six innings, seven hits, and five strikeouts in the Blue Jays 12-1 Friday blowout of the Detroit Tigers.

Matt does the MLB podcasts each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

A’s blow out the Mariners 10-2

Photo credit: @Athletics

By: Ana Kieu

OAKLAND — The Oakland A’s and Seattle Mariners played the second game of a two-game set at the Oakland Coliseum on Wednesday afternoon.

The A’s starting lineup featured starting pitcher Homer Bailey, who made his debut as an Oakland Athletic, as well as Marcus Semien, Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, Mark Canha, Ramon Laureano, Khris Davis, Jurickson Profar, Chad Pinder and Josh Phegley.

After a scoreless first inning, the Mariners opened the scoring for a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Dylan Moore tripled to Mark Canha and Tim Beckham scored on the play. Shortly after, the M’s made it 2-0 on a Dee Gordon single that scored Dylan Moore.

But the A’s tied the game 2-2 in the bottom of the second inning. Jurickson Profar hit a game-tying home run that scored Ramon Laureano.

The A’s announced that Matt Chapman left the game in the top of the third inning with left ankle soreness. After that, the A’s went ahead 3-2 on a Mark Canha home run in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Mark Canha resurfaced in the bottom of the sixth inning with a home run. The A’s took a 4-2 lead.

The crowd cheered when Chad Pinder hit a three-run home run that scored Ramon Laureano and Jurickson Profar in the bottom of the sixth inning. The A’s were up 7-2.

Ramon Laureano hit a home run to give the A’s a 8-2 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning. Moments later, Jurickson Profar hit his second home run of the game and his 13th of the season to help the A’s to a double-digit 10-2 lead.

After two hours and 49 minutes of play, the A’s blew out the Mariners by a final score of 10-2.

Today’s attendance was 19,161.

The A’s head to Target Field to take on the Minnesota Twins for a four-game series. Game one will be played on Thursday at 5:10 pm PT.

A’s continue to roll as they down the Mariners 9-2

Photo credit: @Athletics

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND — The A’s continued their winning ways as they won their fifth in a row to down the Seattle Mariners 9-2 at the Oakland Coliseum on Tuesday night.

This was the 14th game of the season between the two teams. Even though the Mariners entered the game with a record of 39-58, they held a 7-6 advantage over the A’s. The M’s sent lefty Marco Gonzalez to the hill to stop the A’s. Gonzalez had beaten the A’s three times this year and was hoping to win his fourth. The A’s Daniel Mengden was given the task of slowing down the Seattle offense.

Seattle took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second when catcher Omar Narvaez led off the inning with a solo homer. It was his 15th of the year and the third in his last two games against the A’s. Narvaez has taken over as the guy that loves to kill the A’s. Mitch Haniger had that role, but he is on the injured list.

The A’s plated two runs in the bottom of the third. With one out, Josh Phegley singled. Marcus Semien doubled to put men on at second and third. Matt Chapman singled to drive them in to put the A’s ahead 2-1.

The A’s put three on the board in the fifth. Gonzalez retired the first two A’s hitters he faced. With a 3-2 count on Marcus Semien, Gonzalez threw a pitch that appeared to be strike three. Home plate umpire Brian O’Nora took a step back and looked as if he was going to call Semien out on strikes. He didn’t, and Semien had a free pass. The Matts, Chapman, and Olson, went back-to-back to put the A’s ahead 5-1. For Chapman, it was his 22nd of the year. For Olson, it was his 20th.

The A’s scored one on the sixth. Ramon Laureano doubled with one out. Laureano took off for third. Gonzalez threw behind him to second baseman Dee Gordon. Gordon’s throw to Kyle Seager was not on the mark and sailed past Seager. That miscue allowed Laureano to score. The error was the 96th of the year for the M’s They have committed more errors than any other team in baseball this year.

In the seventh, Semien doubled when his blooper to right field fell in safely as three Mariners had a chance to make the putout. Chappie doubled to drive in Semien. Chappie has five RBIs in the game. The onslaught continued as Oakland scored two more in the eighth. Singles by Laureano and Pinder put men on at first and second. The runners advanced on a wild pitch, and both scored on Phegley’s single.

With two out in the ninth and Blake Treinen pitching, Omar Narvaez continued his hot-hitting against the A’s when he homered again. Treinen retired the next batter to end the game.

Game Notes: With the win, the A’s improve to 54-41. They have won five in a row, 13 out of the last 16, and 18 out of the previous 23. The A’s are tied with Cleveland for the second Wild Card slot and trail the Tampa Bay Rays by one game for the first slot. They also gained a game on the AL West leader Houston Astros and now trail them by 4 1/2 games.

Daniel Mengden won his fourth game in a row and is now 5-1 for the year. Mengden has not walked a batter in his last three starts.

Asked what his secret to success was, Mengden replied: “Keep them off balance and go from there.”

Mengden threw strikes on the first pitch to 16 of the 25 hitters he faced. He went 7 innings and allowed four hits and one run. The only mistake he made was the gopher ball that he served to Omar Narvaez. Gonzalez went six innings and allowed seven hits and six runs. He is 10-8 for the year.

Matt Chapman hit his 22nd dinger and has knocked in 59 so far. Matt Olson hit his 20th and has an 11-game hitting streak going.

Umpire Brian O’Nura left the game after the end of the fifth inning. He had been complaining of blurred vision to the trainers, and after missing the call, he went to the trainer’s room for treatment. Jame Hoye took over calling balls and strikes.

Time of game was two hours and 44 minutes and 18,718 fans watched the A’s win again.

Up Next: The A’s sent J.B. Wendelken to Las Vegas to make room for Homer Bailey who was acquired in a trade with the Kansas City Royals on Sunday. Bailey will make his A’s debut Wednesday afternoon against the Mariners at 12:37 pm.

Preview of the A’s series with the Mariners

Photo credit: @Athletics

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND — The A’s, winners of four in a row, and eight of their last ten resume play Tuesday night against the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners are languishing in last place in the AL West with a record of 39-58. The A’s are in second place in the AL West and trail the first-place Houston Astros by six games.

The Mariners have been a tough team for the A’s to subdue. They have played the A’s fairly even this year even though they are not playing well. The A’s started slowly this season, but have turned the season around as they are now 12 games over the .500 mark with a record of 53-41. They have won eight of the last ten and four in a row. They swept all three games from the Chicago White Sox over the weekend.

The Mariners have announced that lefty Marco Gonzalez will pitch Tuesday night. Gonzalez is 10-7 for the year and has an ERA of 4.24. Gonzalez is 5-1 with an ERA of 2.89 in his last starts. He is 3-0 against Oakland and in his previous outing against the A’s he went eight innings, and the M’s beat the A’s 6-3. Daniel Mengden (4-1, 4.73 ERA) will pitch for Oakland. Mengden beat the M’s on July 7th at Seattle. He went 5 1/3 innings and allowed three runs. Mengden is 1-2 lifetime versus the Mariners.

On Wednesday, Homer Bailey will make his debut for the A’s. The A’s obtained Bailey from the Kansa City Royals on Sunday. Bailey has an ERA of 3.49 over his last seven starts with the Royals and is 7-6 overall for the year, and is 1-1 against the M’s in two career starts. The M’s have not announced their pitcher for Wednesday’s game.

The A’s pitchers still will have to face several Mariners’ players that can do damage. M’s catcher Omar Narvaez hit two home runs against the A’s on July 7th. Narvaez is hitting .290 and has 14 homers and 36 RBI’s for the year. M’s first baseman Daniel Vogelbach, who also will DH, made the All-Star team and he comes in hitting .239 with 21 dingers and 51 ribbies. The A’s know that Dee Gordon, J.P.Crawford, Kyle Seager, Domingo Santana, Mallex Smith, and former SF Giant Mac Williamson are players that can do damage and the A’s pitchers will have to be careful facing them.

Mitch Haniger and Ryon Healy are two Mariners that are still on the IL. Haniger loves to hit against the A’s and Healy, who was traded to Seattle last year, would like nothing better than beating his old team. Healy may be available, but Haniger will not come off the IL until late July.

The A’s know that they have to beat teams that are not doing well. They would like to sweep the two-game series with the Mariners as they go on a seven-day road trip to the AL central leader, the Minnesota Twins for four, and the AL West leader, the Houston Astros for three. The A’s took two out of three from the Twins in early July. The Astros, on the other hand, have handled the A’s so far this season.

The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the A’s when they return home. They will play four with the Texas Rangers after the Astro series. The Rangers, one of the big surprises in baseball this season, and trailing the A’s by two games in the race for second place in the AL West, will be a big test for the A’s. After the series with the Rangers, the A’s will face two teams from the NL Central that are fighting for spots in the playoffs. They will play three against the Milwaukee Brewers and two against the St. Louis Cardinals. The A’s have been playing well.

They have the ingredients for success. Their starting pitching has been solid, and with the addition of Bailey, should get better. Liam Hendriks has stepped out and done the job as the team’s closer. Blake Treinen’s problems with control have taken him out of the closer’s role for the time being. The A’s are working to get him back to the form that he had in 2018. Lou Trivino also needs to get back to his 2018 form.

The rest of the bullpen has done the job.

The A’s offense has come to life, and there are no easy outs in the lineup. The A’s shine on defense, They have a Gold Glover at third and one at first. Marcus Semien has improved so much at shortstop. He is also a candidate for a Gold Glove. Ramon Laureano in centerfield has an incredible arm and Robbie Grossman, Mark Canha, and Chad Pinder are more than adequate on defense. Stephen Piscotty in on the 10-day IL with a sprained right knee.

The A’s won 97 games last season. They know that they are in a race for the second wild card slot right now. They trail the Tampa Bay Rays by 1 1/2 games for the first wild card slot. The Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, and Boston Red Sox are all teams that have a chance to make the playoffs. The A’s will not play the Indians or Red Sox again this year. They will face the White Sox back in Chicago in August and have seven with the lowly Kansas City Royals. They have eleven games left with the Astros and six with the New York Yankees.

The A’s are playing with confidence. A’s manager Bob Melvin has been punching all the right buttons. The message is clear. Take them one at a time and go out there and win.